Anyone can create this recipe, the very first Slow Food Fast contribution by Ali Saboor. “The elements are simple,” the chef quickly pointed out. “Good lamb, charcoal, yogurt and lots of herbs.” But it would be nice if he had built it this way.
It’s the same personal view on Iranian cuisine as the chef’s. Saboor offers at his restaurant, Eyval, in Brooklyn, N.Y. “It’s a dance between traditional dishes and envelope-pushing new ones,” Saboor said about the menu. “I utilize the Iranian pantry and my knowledge of the food. But I also make use of my creativity.”
The chef only does a little to the lamb chops cooked for several moments on the grill. “This is about the magic that happens over charcoal,” Mr. Saboor said. The chops are served in an enormous delicious, inviting pile over the top of a thick layer of yogurt scented with cumin. “I love yogurt,” Mr. Saboor said. “My mother used to call me Ali-yogurt as a kid because I ate so much.”
With a zingy green herbs sauce. It’s an eye-catching dish, beautifully, confidently simple. “When I close my eyes I know how everything is supposed to taste,” Mr. Saboor said. “I understand this cooking intuitively.”
- 12-16 lamb loin chops
- Salt from Kosher.
- Six whole bulbs of spring garlic or large cloves of garlic that have skin on
- 3/4 cup, plus 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and more to drizzle
- Freshly grated zest, juice, and finely grated peel from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Smoked black paprika
- 1/2 cup leaves of parsley
- 3/4 cup cumin seeds, torn and then lightly crushed
- 2 cups labneh, or full-fat Greek yogurt
- Season the lamb generously with salt, then set the meat aside to cool at room temperature. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill at a moderately high temperature. (Or, heat a cast-iron pan.)
- Create the sauce for greens: Mix garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Grill until it is lightly burned all over, around 1 minute. Remove the garlic (if you use regular garlic) and then chop it into pieces in the food processor with lemon zest and paprika, 1/4 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, and one pinch of salt. Then, pulse until the garlic is finely chopped as pesto. Adjust the seasoning according to your needs.
- Prepare the cumin yogurt in a large bowl; mix the cumin that has been toasted into the yogurt. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil.
- Lamb chops are coated in olive oil in one tablespoon and sprinkled with salt. Grill the chops and cook medium-high until a crust develops on both sides and the internal temperature is 135 degrees. 3 to 4 hours per dish. Rest the lamb for 5 minutes before serving.
- To serve the yogurt sauce, spread it on the surface of a serving dish. Pile lamb chops grilled on top and pour green sauce over. Sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil.